On my way to work last Friday I came across a small kitten sleeping beside the ‘fire wall’ I mentioned here. It was sleeping under a small plant that was attached to the wall. Right under its shade. It was so small and I got really worried because it has been raining really hard the past few days. Just the day before, the street where I found it flooded and I was afraid that if it happens again that day, it would drown. I stood there staring at it for a minute. I’ve never taken care of cats let alone a kitten this small so I didn’t really know what to do. I wanted to take it home but I was already late for work and I wasn’t sure if it still has a mother that will come back for it. With a heavy heart, I left the kitten and went to work.
During lunch, I told the hubby about the kitten. I asked him to check the place again and if the kitten was still there, I asked him to take it home. He told me that he will and asked me to check with my mom if we have a box or something that we could put it in. I talked to my mom about it and told her the exact location where I found the kitten. My mom isn’t really very fond of cats and my dad does not like pets in general so I wasn’t sure how she would react about my plans of taking the kitten. Especially since we already have four dogs at home. Surprisingly, she didn’t hesitate to check on the kitten. About an hour later it started raining and I got so worried so I called my mom again. She said that there were actually two kittens. My aunt took the other one and gave it to someone who she knew takes care of cats and my mom took the other one in. This was the same kitten that I saw that morning. By the time I got home the kitten was already there waiting for me.
When I checked the kitten, the eyes were still shut. I didn’t want to touch it at first because I was scared. I didn’t know how to handle kittens. Trying to feed it was a struggle. Only the hubby has some idea on how kittens ‘work’ but even then he wasn’t very hands-on with his mom’s cats and they never had to take care of orphans. I posted some queries on PALS’ FB page and got some tips from fellow animal lovers. The syringe that we initially used to feed it milk was not working the way we expected and we didn’t get to do much on that first night. The next day, I got a tip from a PALS member to wipe the eyes with a cotton cloth so I did. Something came out of its left eye and I cleaned it up and saw that the left eye was already opened. I felt a tinge of happiness about that. Like I was doing something right. In the afternoon we brought the kitten to a vet at Cartimar.
The lady who I believe was the receptionist of the clinic seemed to look weirded out by us. Having someone bring a small, struggling (obviously) stray kitten to a vet was probably not a common sight for her yet she enterained us and had me fill up some forms. Aside from my personal information and the pet’s species, I couldn’t fill up anything else. I told her we just found her on the street the day before and don’t know anything about it. It didn’t even have a name yet. I didn’t want to name it until I knew for sure that it was going to be ok.
The vet took the kitten and put it on the table. I told her about the left eye that I saw was already open but it seemed to have closed again. She put some eye drops and pus came out. I cringed. I didn’t know that what I was cleaning earlier was already pus. She said that the cat had eye infection. She continued to do this on both eyes until it seemed like the eyes were already clean and for the first time I got to see both of its eyes open. The vet told me that if we’re still unable to feed her, we may have to say “goodbye”. I dreaded the thought and couldn’t help tearing up. She tried to feed her with a/d and the kitten started eating a little bit. That gave me hope. The vet also gave it antibiotics and vitamins and prescribed the same plus some eye drops for her. Since the kitten ate some of the a/d that the vet gave I also bought a can so it could eat something. I spent quite a lot on that kitten that day. But I thought it was worth it. Specially since it seemed a lot better after the visit to the vet. We even bought it litter sand and a soft rug/mat to sleep in once in a while.
We continued to feed the kitten and give antibiotics and vitamins as prescribed and put eye drops whenever its eyes were drying up. Things seemed to be looking up. The hubby told me the kitten was a girl and that it was about time that we named her. We named her after the tiger from the anime Fruits Basket, “Kisa”. 🙂
The hubby and I had to work by Monday. His shift starts at 7am while mine starts at 11am. He’d feed Kisa before he left for work and I give her antibiotics and feed her some more before I leave. When the hubby comes home he feeds her again and we’ll try again after I come home and then before we go to sleep. This was going to be our routine for her. When the hubby came home from work on Monday he found her sleeping on the floor. She somehow managed to get out of her ‘bin’.
She didn’t want to eat much Tuesday morning. I left some cat food for her and she was sleeping when I left. I talked to the hubby about how pretty her eyes were. Her eyes don’t get dry anymore and when she looks at me I just melt. Those round eyes. Just like Puss from Shrek. I asked him to buy some things for her before he goes home. Milk, more cat food some tissue paper and alcohol for cleaning up, etc. While working on some issues at work I got a call from the hubby and with a quiet voice he told me that Kisa has passed away. He got home and found her lifeless body. I was devastated. More than just being sad about her leaving us, I felt guilty. I must have done something wrong. I just couldn’t understand how things can go from 10 (okay, maybe not 10 but around 7?) to zero in just a matter of hours. My heart hurt. Crying was the only thing I could do. I haven’t felt like that since we lost Kiba last year.
On my way home, I found my mom with Luffy just outside of our house buying something at a store. I just hugged her from behind and started crying on her shoulder again. My mom tried to console me and even said that she’ll ask my aunt to find me another kitten to take care of. She must have thought that would make me feel better. Kisa can’t be replaced. But for my mom to even offer taking in another cat just to try to make me feel better means a lot.
I was depressed. I cried myself to sleep that night. I got people telling me that it wasn’t my fault. That I saved her. That I gave her a good life and she knew what it felt like to be cared for and loved even if it was just a few days because of me. I couldn’t stop feeling bad though.
The past few days I’ve been doing some research about taking care of orphaned kittens. I wasn’t over what happened and I wanted to make sure that I would be ready if I ever encounter another kitten that needs a home. I found this site which was really helpful and informative: http://www.feralcat.com/raising.html. What struck me is the last section:
“Caring for an orphaned kitten can be difficult and even the most conscientious foster parent may lose a little one. If a kitten dies, the substitute parent should not blame himself or herself. Nor should you accept all the credit if the kitten thrives.”
I guess they’re right. I shouldn’t blame myself. I still get teary-eyed when I think of her. She’ll never be forgotten. My only consolation is that I know she’s in a happier place. Probably with our baby Kiba in the Rainbrow Bridge.
She has only been in my life for the past four days yet she has no idea how much she made me cry nor how much my heart hurts just thinking of her. Run to the rainbow bridge, Kisa! I feel like I failed you and I’m sorry. We’ll miss you a lot.
Last photo I took of her… 😦